While I was jotting down a list of the gifts I received for Christmas, I thought about a remark I made on yesterday’s entry about boycotting sexist games. Often, being able to boycott is a class and wealth privilege because you need access and money to patron alternatives to unethical companies.
When I worked at Walt Disney World on its college program, I lived in an apartment complex and rode buses provided by companies that Disney contracted. One bus route included hourly runs to Walmart on certain days of the week. Walmart is a store I choose not to spend my money at, so I found the location of a Publix grocery store. There were three ways I could get there: rides from roommates with cars, taking an on call shuttle that made special trips to the Publix, or taking the contracted bus to another Disney housing complex that was a mile walk from the store. Taking the “on-call” shuttle would require a cell phone (a privilege) or finding a pay-phone or phone to borrow. I was able to get rides from roommates (who had cars–again, a privilege) on a few occasions, but generally walked to the store, where I endured the summer heat and the shouts and honks from passing cars while I carried my groceries. Even after all that, I was still able to afford to purchase organic and prepared health foods because my parents gave me money to supplement the $100 US I averaged (after rent, which Disney deducted from my pay check, and taxes) after a 40+ hour work week. Being middle class, even when I working a job that paid less than my home state of Washington’s minimum wage, allowed me to have the privilege of boycotting.
Being able to game is a privilege. Being able to boycott is a privilege. I have the power to engage in the leisure activity, and try to change things about it that I don’t like. In the spirit of invisible knapsacks and unpacking them, and this blog’s themes, below I’ve listed some of the ways my situation has given me an advantage over others in relation to technology. I am an American, white, from a Christian family, middle-class, young, able-bodied, average-sized, and non-transexual.
Links to Privilege Checklists and Articles
Here’s a collection of privilege checklists I’ve come across online. I’ll update it as I find more, and please share suggestions for additions.
The Male Privilege Checklist
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack White privilege checklist by Peggy McIntosh, who started privilege checklists.
Social Class Privilege — Beyond Ethnicity, Gender, and Religion
Non-Poor Privilege Checklist
The Invisibility of Class Privilege
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack II: Sexual Orientation
Able-bodied Privilege : Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
The Costs of American Privilege Not a checklist, but I still wanted to include American privilege.
Fatshadow’s Average-sized Privilege Checklist
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of Sexual Conservatism…
Last update: March 14, 2006